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Automatic Man

Read Automatic Man's biography

Automatic Man - Automatic Man [Island Records ILPS-9397] (1976)

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Automatic Man


Automatic Man

Released: 1976
Label: Island Records
Catalog: ILPS-9397
Country: USA
Genre: Rock, Art Rock

T R A C K L I S T:
01 Atlantis Rising Fanfare
02 Comin' Through
03 My Pearl
04 One And One
05 Newspapers
06 Geni-Geni
07 Right Back Down
08 There's A Way
09 I.T.D. Interstellar Tracking Devices
10 Automatic Man
11 Atlantis Rising Theme
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Album Review

William Ruhlmann []

After making his name with Santana (remember his solo on ''Soul Sacrifice'' at Woodstock?), drummer Michael Shrieve did some experimenting with Stomu Yamashta and then turned to this four-piece, which was led by singer/keyboard player Bayete. Their sound is progressive rock with a spacy, spiritual bent (titles include ''Atlantis Rising'' and ''Interstellar Tracking Devices''), which means swirling synthesizers, biting lead guitar playing (courtesy of Pat Thrall), and lyrics about angels and heaven and how ''worldly things keep us apart.'' The drumming is good and it's high in the mix, but after his prominent role in Santana, one expected more in the way of leadership from Shrieve, and this group ultimately was as faceless as the alien image on the front cover.

Automatic Man's Biography

Peter Kurtz []

Automatic Man came out of nowhere in 1976. The front cover of their debut album had a simple yet eye-catching blue alien staring out from space. A close look at the four-man lineup on the back sleeve, however, shows highly-respected ex-Santana drummer Michael Shrieve. But the brains and chief songwriter behind Automatic Man was keyboardist Bayete, whose real name is Todd Cochrane.

Cochrane was a graduate of Oxford University and had recorded two unsuccessful albums on the Fantasy label in the early '70s. He teamed up with Shrieve soon after Shrieve had departed Steve Winwood and Stomu Yamashta's Go project. These two were joined by two other Bay Area musicians who had also played with Go, guitarist Pat Thrall and bassist Doni Harvey. The debut album by this assemblage reveals a strange and eclectic mixture of space rock, funk, and Jimi Hendrix-inspired guitar, powered mainly by Bayete's dreamy keyboards and vocals. It was a promising debut, but after Shrieve quit (he later formed Novo Combo), the band lost its way. The second release had a pink alien on the front sleeve; unfortunately, the music revealed more funk but less imagination. Thrall later joined the Pat Travers Band and guested on a Narada Michael Walden album. Bayete and Harvey seemingly disappeared from view.
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